A world-renowned innovation guru explains practices that result in breakthrough innovations
Ulwick's outcome-driven programs bring discipline and predictability to the often random process of innovation.
For years, companies have accepted the underlying principles that define the customer-driven paradigm--that is, using customer requirements to guide growth and innovation. But twenty years into this movement, breakthrough innovations are still rare, and most companies find that 50 to 90 percent of their innovation initiatives flop. The cost of these failures to U.S. companies alone is estimated to be well over $100 billion annually.
In a book that challenges everything you have learned about being customer driven, internationally acclaimed innovation leader Anthony Ulwick reveals the secret weapon behind some of the most successful companies of recent years. Known as outcome-driven innovation, this revolutionary approach to new product and service creation transforms innovation from a nebulous art into a rigorous science from which randomness and uncertainty are eliminated.
Based on more than 200 studies spanning more than seventy companies and twenty-five industries, Ulwick contends that, when it comes to innovation, the traditional methods companies use to communicate with customers are the root cause of chronic waste and missed opportunity. In What Customers Want, Ulwick demonstrates that all popular qualitative research methods yield well-intentioned but unfitting and dreadfully misleading information that serves to derail the innovation process. Rather than accepting customer inputs such as needs, benefits, specifications, and solutions, Ulwick argues that researchers should silence the literal voice of the customer and focus on the metrics that customers use to measure success when executing the jobs, tasks or activities they are trying to get done. Using these customer desired outcomes as inputs into the innovation process eliminates much of the chaos and variability that typically derails innovation initiatives.
With the same profound insight, simplicity, and uncommon sense that propelled The Innovator's Solution to worldwide acclaim, this paradigm-changing book details an eight-step approach that uses outcome-driven thinking to dramatically improve every aspect of the innovation process--from segmenting markets and identifying opportunities to creating, evaluating, and positioning breakthrough concepts. Using case studies from Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, AIG, Pfizer, and other leading companies, What Customers Want shows companies how to:
- Obtain unique customer inputs that make predictable innovation possible
- Recognize opportunities for disruption, new market creation, and core market growth--well before competitors do
- Identify which ideas, technologies, and acquisitions have the greatest potential for creating customer value
- Systematically define breakthrough products and services concepts
Innovation is fundamental to success and business growth. Offering a proven alternative to failed customer-driven thinking, this landmark book arms you with the tools to unleash innovation, lower costs, and reduce failure rates--and create the products and services customers really want.
About the Author
Anthony Ulwick is the CEO of Strategyn, a pioneer and world leader in outcome-driven innovation. Since 1991 he has served as a consultant to Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, AIG, Chiquita Brands, and dozens of other leading corporations. Mr. Ulwick's innovation practices were recognized by the editors of the Harvard Business Review as some of the best business ideas of 2002.